Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer
Another proposal for redeveloping the old Razorback Golf Course has come and gone.
Property owner Ron Caviness has withdrawn his request to rezone the land, which was under contract with local developer Bart Bauer. In a memo sent to the Fayetteville City Clerk’s office on Monday, Caviness said Bauer had terminated the real estate contract for the property, where he’d planned to build low-density single-family homes and a small quadplex subdivision.
It’s the second time this year that a plan to repurpose the property has failed. A proposal earlier this year by Lindsey Management was abandoned after aldermen rejected a rezoning request that would’ve allowed up to 730 residential units, including 480 apartments and a mix of commercial spaces. The idea was also partially opposed by the Planning Commission, and neighbors who cited concerns with a number of issues including traffic safety, drainage, use compatibility, and overall quality of life.
Bauer’s plan was more modest, and carried approval from city staff, the Planning Commission, and many neighbors. However, residents who spoke at the July 19 City Council meeting said they wanted some assurances before giving an official thumbs-up.
Bauer’s request was to zone about 73 acres of the 99-acre property as Neighborhood Conservation and 15 acres as Neighborhood Services, while designating 11 acres as Residential Agricultural.
Although Neighborhood Conservation allows up to 10 single-family homes per acre, Bauer said about half of the land was unusable because of its ponds, floodplains, and unique topography.
“It’s very difficult to develop at all,” Bauer told aldermen last month, adding that his plan calls for about two lots per acre. “There’s no way this could ever be high density.”
Many neighbors who spoke praised the idea, but said they feared what might happen to the land if Bauer’s plan fell through.
If Bauer offered a formal bill of assurance limiting the number of units that could be developed, many residents said they’d likely be in support. When asked if he’d consider such an offer, Bauer said, “I think I could look into it, yes.”
Aldermen left the item on its first reading to allow more time for public comment. The discussion was scheduled to continue tonight (Aug. 2), but with the request now withdrawn, the issue will likely be tabled indefinitely.